Weekly Wire: February 19, 2021
The Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire e-Newsletter is a compendium of news, actions, and resources considered to be of interest or relevance to the breastfeeding field. The newsletter aims to support the USBC's mission "To drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States." Included items are submitted for consideration or identified by the USBC e-news team via extensive online review. Whenever possible, the newsletter utilizes language directly from the primary source of an item without additional analysis or edits. In some cases, the USBC offers additional perspectives through the "USBC Insights," media and partner highlights, and the "News & Views" section. Inclusion of an item in the e-newsletter does not imply endorsement or support by the USBC of an item or organization, unless specifically noted.
In this Issue:
- USBC Updates
- Black History Month Breastfeeding Resources
- Nikia Sankofa Honored by HealthConnect One
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on COVID-19
- National News
- Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Introduced in House, summarized from Congress
- Sign on Letter in Support of Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, summarized from ABB
- Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey Deadline: 2/26, summarized from CDC
- Report on WIC Program Strengths and Future, summarized from NWA
- Application to Participate in Online Strolling Thunder Event, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
- Funding Opportunity for Emerging Issues in MCH, summarized from HRSA/MCHB
- Funding Opportunity for Maternal and Early Childhood Care Systems, summarized from HRSA/MCHB
- Presentation on IBCLC Process and Pathways, summarized from LER
- Formula Marketing Enforcement Request Sent to FDA, summarized from CSPI
- Resource for Establishing Lactation Support at Universities, summarized from UNC
- Open Access Edition for Black History Month, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine
- Equity Lens
- Webinar on Queer Black Indigenous Birthing, summarized from MIBFN
- Bill Improving Obstetric Care in Rural Areas Introduced, summarized from Congress
- Collective Impact Connection
- Webinar on Social Entrepreneurship, summarized from SSIR
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Black History Month Breastfeeding Resources
February is Black History Month! The USBC updated its "Black History Month Tools & Resources" webpage. The webpage features a compilation of resources, tools, and materials from the field that can be shared with breastfeeding families. Please submit additional resources via the online form.
Nikia Sankofa Honored by HealthConnect One
USBC Executive Director, Nikia Sankofa has been featured in a social media spotlight by HealthConnect One as part of its "Our Black History Every Month" campaign.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letter from the field:
- A Better Balance: Letter of Support for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Special Section on COVID-19
As communities around the nation respond to the global Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the USBC has continued to serve as a communication hub for the breastfeeding field. View the updated "Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies" webpage for key resources on COVID-19 and infant feeding. See the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire archive for previous compilations of COVID-19 resources and updates. Submit additional resources for consideration via the online form. Highlights from the field include:
- Breastfeeding Medicine: Breastfeeding Medicine published an article titled "Maternal and Infant Outcomes Associated with Maternity Practices Related to COVID-19: The COVID Mothers Study." Through a retrospective cohort study of 357 cis-gender biological mothers in 31 countries, the study provides new evidence that the benefits of keeping mothers and infants together likely outweigh the risks of infection to babies born to mothers with COVID-19. Media highlights include:
- Frontiers in Pediatrics: Frontiers in Pediatrics released an article titled "Promoting and Protecting Human Milk and Breastfeeding in a COVID-19 World." The article lifts up the urgent and immediate need to invest in research that establishes the safety of human milk and safety at the onset of a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors also highlight the crucial role of the USBC-affiliated COVID-19 Infant and Young Child Feeding Constellation.
- JAMA Network: The JAMA Network released a video presentation titled "COVID Vaccination in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Individuals." In the presentation, two obstetrician/gynecologists discuss the safety of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant and nursing people and people trying to get pregnant.
- mBio: mBio published an article titled "Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, Antibodies, and Neutralizing Capacity in Milk Produced by Women with COVID-19." The study analyzed milk samples from a small cohort of breastfeeding women following a COVID-19 diagnosis.
COVID-19 News & Views
- "COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnant and Lactating Women"
- "Involving Pregnant Individuals in Clinical Research on COVID-19 Vaccines"
- "Pregnancy, Postpartum Care, and COVID-19 Vaccination in 2021"
Lactation Matters (ILCA blog): "Understanding Why Parent-Infant Separation Became the Norm During COVID-19"
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Introduced in House, summarized from Congress
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1065) has been reintroduced in the House with bipartisan support. The PWFA would help eliminate discrimination and promote women's health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues" states that lactation is a pregnancy-related medical condition. The bill was introduced by Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3), John Katko (R-NY-24), Lucy McBath (D-GA-6), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), and Bobby Scott (D-VA-3). Highlights from the field include:
- A Better Balance:
- Chamber of Commerce: "U.S. Chamber Applauds Reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act"
- Oswego County Today: "Katko, Bipartisan Group Reintroduce Legislation To Protect Pregnant Workers From Workplace Discrimination"
- Representative Katko: "Rep. Katko & Bipartisan Group Reintroduce Legislation to Protect Pregnant Workers from Workplace Discrimination"
Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey Deadline: 2/26, summarized from CDC
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's 2020 national survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) will close on Friday, February 26, 2021. A BIG THANK YOU to all the hospitals that have already submitted their survey! There is still time for every hospital to be counted. There is only 1 week left and currently only 63% of mPINC surveys have been submitted. To receive an individualized Hospital Report and be included in state and national level reports, hospitals must complete and submit their survey.
CDC understands that 2020 was a difficult year. mPINC data are important even in tough times. These data help us all understand the progress and challenges hospitals may face providing maternity care practices supportive of breastfeeding. We can make progress together. If you are interested in how your state is doing, please see current submission rates for each state below. For questions, visit CDC's mPINC website or email mPINC@cdc.gov.
Report on WIC Program Status and Future, summarized from NWA
The National WIC Association published the inaugural "State of WIC" report, a resource for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) administrators, providers, and researchers. The report highlights the experiences of WIC providers and stakeholders, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. This comprehensive report lays out the strong evidence base for WIC, including the different facets of WIC's nutrition and breastfeeding services, lifts up the voices of WIC providers, and outlines steps that can enhance the program's impact on maternal, infant, and child health. The report notes that the percentage of WIC moms who have initiated breastfeeding has increased 30 percent over two decades, from 42 percent in 1998 to 72 percent in 2018.
Funding Opportunity for Emerging Issues in MCH, summarized from HRSA/MCHB
The Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau published a notice of funding opportunity titled "Emerging Issues in Maternal and Child Health." The purpose of the program is to strengthen the capacities of state- and/or local-level organizations to respond to emerging public health issues affecting maternal and child health populations. Domestic public and private entities are eligible to apply. Applications are due Friday, April 9. MCHB has also released a technical assistance webinar recording and frequently asked questions resource to assist applicants.
Funding Opportunity for Maternal and Early Childhood Care Systems, summarized from HRSA/MCHB
The Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau published a notice of funding opportunity titled "Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Health Integration Prenatal-to-Three Program" (ECCS). The goal of the ECCS program is to build integrated maternal and early childhood systems of care that are equitable, sustainable, comprehensive, and inclusive of the health system, and that promote early developmental health and family well-being and increase family-centered access to care and engagement of the prenatal-to-three population. Domestic public and private entities are eligible to apply. Applications are due Monday, March 15.
Application to Participate in Online Strolling Thunder Event, summarized by ZERO TO THREE
Join ZERO TO THREE on Tuesday, May 18, for Strolling Thunder, an event to bring national attention to what babies and families need to thrive. ZERO TO THREE plans to connect a parent/guardian and their children under the age of three from every state and the District of Columbia with their members of Congress for a virtual conversation about the experience of raising young children and what they need to support their baby's healthy development. Apply to represent your state via the online form. Submissions must be received by Friday, March 5.
Presentation on IBCLC Process and Pathways, summarized from LER
Lactation Education Resources is hosting a webinar presentation titled "Real Talk: The Realities of Being and Becoming an IBCLC" on Saturday, February 27, from 12-1 p.m. ET. Speakers will discuss the definition of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), ICBLC work environments, and how one becomes an IBCLC.
Formula Marketing Enforcement Request Sent to FDA, summarized from CSPI
The Center for Science in Public Interest sent an enforcement request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The request urges the agency to take enforcement action against three prominent infant formula manufacturers for marketing sugary drinks to toddlers up to three years old. The letter provides a brief background on Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and FDA regulations on this category of products, discusses the violations of FFDCA and the grounds for FDA enforcement action, and provides examples of five misbranded products. Additional CSPI resources include:
- Blog post: "FDA Urged to Stop Formula Companies from Selling Sugary Drinks as 'Formula' to Toddlers"
- Individual action tool: "Tell FDA to address awful and unlawful toddler beverage marketing"
Resource for Establishing Lactation Support at Universities, summarized from UNC
The University of Northern Colorado published the second edition of a resource titled "Toolkit for Establishing Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Support on University and College Campuses: Using University of Northern Colorado as an Institutional Model." The toolkit includes information about the UNC journey to establishing lactation stations on its campuses and resources for other institutions to follow suit.
Open Access Edition For Black History Month, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine
Breastfeeding Medicine is dedicating a special issue, with free and open access, as part of Black History Month. The special issue focuses on inequities in the U.S. health care system and how they negatively impact African Americans. Guest edited by Dr. Sahira Long, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science, Children's National Hospital, the issue presents a combination of original research, perspective editorial analyses, and epidemiological surveys of the status of breastfeeding in the African American community.
Webinar on Queer Black Indigenous Birthing, summarized from MIBFN
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network launched an on-demand webinar titled "Queer Like Radical: Affirming Abundance with Newborn/Infant Feeding." The presentation will center Queer Black Indigenous birthers and aims to provide accessible knowledge about breastfeeding and chestfeeding for queer birthers and families including common newborn/infant feeding challenges that affect queer birthers and non-synthetic tools for supporting healthy milk supply. Webinar speakers will also address the historical and political nuances of breastfeeding in the Black community.
Bill Improving Obstetric Care in Rural Areas Introduced, summarized from Congress
Representatives Cindy Axne (D-IA-3) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4) re-introduced the Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services Act (H.R. 769). Also known as the Rural MOMS Act, the bill aims to improve healthcare access and outcomes for new and expecting mothers in rural communities across the United States. The bill would address rural maternal mortality and morbidity rates and expand access to healthcare services for pregnant women and new mothers in remote areas. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Read the press release.
Collective Impact Connection
Webinar on Social Entrepreneurship, summarized from SSIR
The Stanford Social Innovation Review is hosting a webinar titled "Creating Impact in a Volatile World — Lessons Learned from the Front Lines" on Wednesday, March 10, from 2-3 p.m. ET. A panel of social entrepreneurs will share stories of resilience and innovative models for impact.
News & Views
Breastfeeding Today (LLLI publication): "Bridging Birth and Breastfeeding"
HealthConnect One blog post: "Historic legislation introduced on Black Maternal Health"
Science Daily: "Paid maternity leave has long-term health benefits"
WABA publication: "WABA's 30th Birthday"